My Broke Life wouldn’t work at all if I didn’t know how to cook. If I weren’t able to plan and prepare budget-friendly food for myself, I would be screwed! Seriously! Not only because I would likely be wasting money daily by eating at restaurants and fast food joints, but also because I wouldn’t be getting the science-proven neurological benefits that cooking can provide. But for the things I don’t know – thank goodness for YouTube.
On top of that, I just really, really like food and eating. Food is my favorite thing and eating is my favorite activity. I am pleased to say I am a pretty good cook. I have cooked for friends and family and even posted a few budget recipes of my own, and that gives me a lot of pride.
My hopefully infamous Black Bottom Black Bean Brownies.
But it wasn’t always like that. Not even close.
I remember distinctly standing in the kitchen of my first apartment, age 18 or 19, staring at a cookbook while covered in flour after trying for hours to make pita bread. I had been trying to mix 7 cups of flour into one cup of water and needless to say it was not going well.
Right around the bread disaster time period, I was also eating the exact same thing for dinner. Every. Single. Night. I had no idea what I was doing! I would put a frozen chicken breast in a sandwich bag with some Italian dressing before I left for work, then would come home and sort of haphazardly pan-fry the chicken with oil and eat it with boxed couscous and some frozen vegetables that I microwaved. I mean, it’s not a crappy meal by a long shot but for as much as I love food… it was depressing.
So I needed to learn how to cook, but my aversion to school and addiction to buying clearance cookbooks lead me to the bountiful well of self-education.
Thanks to the internet and accessible video technology, anyone anywhere can share their small or large amounts of expertise, and with the right title, someone who is on a quest for that information will be able to absorb it just a few moments later. Behold! The power of YouTube! That means, with a little time investment and practice, anyone can teach themselves how to cook with the help of unfamiliar and brilliant strangers on the internet.
Best YouTube Cooking Channels
Books will have to happen later, as the idea of picking a favorite cookbook or most influential food book makes me break out in hives, but I have a definite list of favorite YouTube educators who lead me straight into success with food.
As we well know, you can find pretty much anything on YouTube. If you’re looking for a grown man who makes tiny cakes in tiny ovens, it’s there. If you want someone to crinkle an instant ramen package directly into their microphone for 15 minutes straight, that is also available on your local, neighborhood YouTube.
But, as with anything else, the universe brings balance. For every annoying, muffled video of a teen eating pudding, there is a glorious chef sharing real recipes from their archives on their YouTube food channel. All the makings of a formal culinary education are sitting in 5-25 minute chunks in the land of food YouTube, and it’s impossible not to develop favorites.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to narrow it down (yes, really) to only about 33. I’ve divided them into seven main categories:
- Cheap Cooking
- Baking & Sweets
- Technical Cooking Instruction
- Health-Focused Cooking
- International Cooking
- Food Culture & Travel Shows
- Food Comedy & Entertainment
Click to zoom straight to that category, and enjoy the sample videos right from the page! If you love what you see, I have 2-5 more links to that person’s or team’s best videos. Next time you’re looking to level-up in cooking, check out one of these amazing channels. Don’t forget to bookmark this page!
Truth be told, there is a dearth of budget-friendly cooking channels on YouTube. That may or may not be related to the fact that the few cheap cooking channels that do exist are kind of killing the game. But if you’re looking for a career in YouTube, you could really shake up the scenery by entering into the budget cooking niche. In the meantime,
steal ideas from these people check these seasoned and thrifty YouTubers out!
These two brothers from Brooklyn are… well, they’re weird. Let’s just get that out of the way. As far as eccentric New Yorkers go, they’re up there, but they’re also kind of brilliant at turning a hodge-podge of ingredients into creative and delicious meals. They’ve worked with MTV, Rachel Ray, Hungry, and Food Network, all while maintaining their raucous, offbeat YouTube channel. Here are some of their best series:
- Mastering Student Cooking
- How to Live on $3 Per Day
- Living Vegan on $50 Per Week
- Midnight Munchies (Their series on Hungry – there are two seasons!)
- Beginner’s Guide to Fermentation
Also, fun fact: my middle school best friend ended up marrying one of these dudes! Now they have a joint cooking channel called Feed the Change which is adorable and full of veggie-based meals and healthy recipes. I was already a fan when she started dating him, so in addition to this channel being literally the best budget cooking channel on YouTube (trust me, I did my research), I also have a soft spot for the ol’ Brothers Green because they feel like extended family that I’ve never met. Aww.
The recipe I linked above has saved my butt many dinner-times. Budget Bytes is forever one of my favorite budget cooking blogs, and her burgeoning YouTube channel gives me hope that she might bring her much-needed presence to video. There are only a handful of videos right now, but I bet a bunch of thumbs-up and subscriptions would help motivate her to make more!
The beauty & brains behind Budget Bytes is Beth (wow alliteration *self high five*), and she is the best when it comes to budget-focused recipes. Her price breakdowns are so precise, and I’ve never made a recipe of hers that hasn’t turned out wonderfully. Also, she’s a complete Sriracha monster, and I love anyone who is that eager to spread the gospel of hot sauce. (Many of her press photos feature Sriracha and/or Sriracha-themed clothing.)
Here are some of Budget Bytes best recipes:
True grocery shopping fanatics will love this channel, and if you doubt the existence of such a person, I dare you to google “Trader Joe’s fans” and explore that little subculture for a while. People get serious about grocery shopping, and I totally get it! Food is a thing you have to deal with at least 3 times per day, and then another 17 times between dinner and bedtime. Alyssia is a food prep queen, and she’s been able to develop healthy, affordable meal plans using ingredients you can get almost anywhere. Look for the store-specific videos like the Whole Foods video above.
Here are some of the best Mind Over Munch series:
Therapy is really expensive, therefore: I bake. Bread, cakes, muffins, pastries – I’ll make anything once! But I’m far from an expert, which is what sets these YouTubers apart from lil’ ol’ me. They are actually pastry chef and cake masters who are offering up their talents for free in the name of cookies.
Aside from being possibly the cutest English girl on the planet, Cupcake Jemma is an incredibly creative baker. While her cakes, cupcakes, and pastries are as unique in flavor as they are decoration, Cupcake Jemma’s most popular videos are basic techniques. That’s because her recipes are as solid as her teaching abilities. Step-by-step, she’ll take you through complex and intimidating tutorials about everything from creating perfect buttercream to the perfect chocolate cake.
Here are some of Cupcake Jemma’s best series:
Yolanda, or Yo, tackles nearly every cake-related idea that comes to her. No matter the shape, she’ll find a way to craft an incredible looking cake out of it. They don’t all look like America’s favorite miniature android, though. Sometimes, her cakes resemble gigantic ice cream sandwiches, pineapples, or chocolate chip banana snakes. You can tell from the way Yo talks about her process that she’s a true, blue pastry chef with a wild streak. My favorite recipes of hers are the turned-up cakes inspired classic flavors. They aren’t shaped like anything and they don’t have a gimmick outside of the fact that they’re completely loaded with the ingredients that make them special. Example: Fall Harvest Cake, which is layers of carrot cake piled high with caramel, apples, and plums. (Right?!)
Here are some of How to Cake It’s best series:
Prepare to feel inadequate. There is an element of impossibility to the cakes that baker Joshua John Russell creates. Some of his cakes are gravity-defying with details that rival the work of actual sculptors. While his cake recipes are likely on point, this channel is all about the construction and decoration. He makes what took him years of practice look easy, and that gives me the kind of false confidence I need to actually try it for myself! JJR is also adorable and tells amazing Dad jokes, so there’s that, too.
Here are some of Make About Cake’s best videos:
This adorable Brit started his channel by offering savory & sweet recipes, but eventually he succumbed to his true purpose: sweets, and in particular, cupcakes. While Nick’s demeanor is as sweet as his cakes, his taste is Gaga-level glamorous. In fact, he has a few cupcakes inspired by Mother Monster, herself. Filled cupcakes weren’t a thing in my life before I binged The Scran Line for a couple of hours. Now, every cupcake I make seems underwhelming unless it has a rainbow of frostings in the core (like the glittery red one above does). For vibrant, pop-culture-inspired cupcakes that will blow your friends’ socks off, The Scran Line is the place to go!
Here are some of The Scran Line’s best videos:
This is where the meat & potatoes of the YouTube cooking community live. These people are the professionals and prodigies of the food world, and you may recognize a few of their faces. You can really see the influence the YouTube has had on media consumption when you see the quality of cooking shows you can find on this free, public platform. People at the top of their fields have taken to signing up for YouTube to share recipes, tips, and techniques alongside behind-the-scenes bits of their success. It’s a really fun, personal, and effective way to teach yourself how to cook. And best of all, it’s free!
Chef John runs Food Wishes, aka the gold standard cooking channel on YouTube. Sorry, everyone else! Chef John has taught me more about cooking than anyone else on this list, and it’s no surprise he was asked to hop on the AllRecipes train a few years ago. His recipes are basic, clear, and totally inspiring. With enough Food Wishes under your belt, you’ll be able to make everything on your favorite restaurant’s menu – plus a few extras! If you’re looking to master the basics of home cooking, Food Wishes will have you on your way to mastery, one recipe at a time.
Here are some of Food Wishes’ best playlists:
Obviously, I had to include The Naked Chef otherwise this list would be incomplete. Jamie Oliver has been around since I was first getting interested in the non-eating side of food. Since then, he’s been busting his ass to protect kids from garbage food and continues to help people learn how to create amazing food at home. His most viewed tutorials are incredibly specific. Among them are tutorials for scrambled eggs three ways, cooking the perfect steak, and perfect roasted potatoes. He just knows how to simplify food and make it fun to learn!
Jamie Oliver also runs FoodTube, a network of dozens of cooking professionals of all backgrounds, from all over who share their knowledge with subscribers for free. Check out Jamie’s Family Food Tube for kid-friendly recipes and tips. With just over 3,000,000 subscribers on Jamie’s channel, it’s no surprise he’s building an empire.
Here are some of Jamie Oliver’s best series:
If your dream is to become a brilliant homesteader, but you have this annoying problem of not knowing how to cook anything, you’ll love River Cottage. They’re part of Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube network, but their take on cooking instruction is entirely rustic. In fact, they cook their beautiful meals in front of an enormous hearth in an actual river cottage! It’s an idyllic scene, and the foods they’re sharing are sometimes centuries old in their history.
Here are some of the best River Cottage videos:
The best part about YouTube’s cooking community is the representation. Simply put, anyone can create content, so there’s an abundance of relevant information for nearly every diet, food allergy, and condition. Despite the bad rap, the YouTube community is incredibly supportive of people who embark on personal health journeys.
Moreover, there are a lot of chefs and excellent home cooks that are applying their food creation skills to nutritious food.
This cute cookbook author and recipe developer’s name is Adriana Harlan, and her YouTube channel will make you drool. I was four episodes in before I realized… none of these recipes have grains, sugar, or soy! The rich, dark chocolate desserts and light, fluffy baked goods had me mesmerized before I learned that she develops her recipes based on the Paleo diet. Paleo also closely resembles the Ketogenic diet, which is what I’m about to start on September 1, so this will be an unbelievable asset in my life.
Not all of her recipes have the same dietary standards, though. Thankfully, Adriana clearly states any potential allergies and/or applicable diets in the title of each video. You’d better eat something before diving into her three years of content, though… 95% of the recipes are sweet, and she knows how to make some beautiful food!
Here are some of Living Healthy with Chocolate’s best videos:
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Paleo, Vegan)
- Avocado Chocolate Bread (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)
- Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Butter Recipe
- Paleo Cookie Dough Oreos
- Starbucks Mocha Frappaccino Recipe (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Low-Carb)
Remember how my friend married one of those crazy Brothers Green? Well, she also runs her own travel & allergy-free food channel called Tasty Freedom! Her recipes are loaded with nutrition, free from many common food allergens, and beautiful to boot. Jaquy’s channel should maybe have been double-listed as a travel channel because she also talks about eating allergy-free while abroad. There are recipes you can make in hotel rooms, Jaquy’s must-have travel foods, and allergy-free street foods from around the world.
Here are some of Tasty Freedom’s best videos:
Despite the name, Fit Men Cook is one of my favorite food channels. It’s completely health-driven and Kevin is kind of amazing at what he does. He’s got a mission, and he is building an empire of accessible, healthy nutrition. The videos on his YouTube channel cover meal prepping, eating while traveling, pantry maintenance, and of course, tons of recipes.
Kevin is making serious moves in his career, but his first move was making the decision to change his life. He went through his own transformation, which he frequently shares, and is the perfect candidate to inspire and motivate others. Fit Men Cook just released a revolutionary meal-prepping app that puts his recipes at your fingertips, along with your health and diet tracking needs.
Fit Men Cook is the perfect place to start if you’re staring down the barrel of a diet overhaul. He covers all kinds of diet types, from ketogenic to vegan to low-calorie. BTW, he has an excellent video about the ketogenic diet I keep going on about, if you’re curious.
What I love most about this channel and Kevin is the dedication to accessibility. Nearly every video has a Spanish translation, and Kevin often shares information in both English and Spanish. He’ll meal prep his way right into your heart, I tell ya! (I mean, Fit Men Cook got four paragraphs. I clearly love him.)
Here are some of Fit Men Cook’s best series:
For those of you who are just looking to become powerhouse meal-planners, Stephanie and Adam will give you every tool you need. Meal prepping alone can help people shave off pounds, correct bad eating habits, and live healthier lives. There’s no specific dietary restrictions on this channel, so you’ll find meal preps for every kind of food. They even have a meal prep video for dogs. Seriously.
Many of their meal prep videos are budget-friendly, but they’re so health-conscious that I had to put them here. Both Adam and Stephanie have gone through their own body overhauls, making them excellent resources and perfect examples of the power of nutrition and portion control.
Here are some of Fit Couple Cooks’ best series:
I recently got into Headbanger’s Kitchen because – surprise, surprise – I’m starting a Ketogenic diet. Mostly because I have a lot of fat to lose, and partially because they encourage you to make pizza crusts with melted cheese in them.
But that’s neither here nor there; Headbanger’s Kitchen is a very metal cooking show (“Horns up!”) based in Mumbai and hosted by a delightful man named Demonstealer with occasional appearances his lovely wife (who I’m pretty sure is a chef), Dipti. He is a musician and healthy lifestyle enthusiast that puts together some incredible recipes that are low-carb and free of grains. I’m obsessed with his channel and look forward to making the Keto diet a little bit more pleasant with Headbanger’s Kitchen’s badass recipes.
Fun fact: Headbanger’s Kitchen has four seasons of a regular show that featured heavy metal bands from all over the world sharing a meal with Demonstealer and Dipti. It’s nothing short of amazing, and those two are incredibly awesome. #relationshipgoals
Here are some of Headbanger’s Kitchen’s best playlists:
Liv is a gorgeous Canadian naturopathy student who developed food allergies that changed her whole life. Her channel, Keep Up with Liv, isn’t branded as a budget cooking YouTube channel, but her videos are full of affordable and simple meals that are cheap as hell to make. This girl works out like a boss, too, so many of her low-allergen recipes are geared towards performance. In addition to healthy recipe videos, she also has a ton of beauty DIYs, copycat recipes, and routine videos to get an idea of how she incorporates her own recipes into her daily life. There are a hundreds of videos in her catalog so you might have a healthy-food-porn binge session ahead of you!
Here are some of the best Keeping Up with Liv series:
When you’re too broke to travel the world, making international cuisine – the authentic versions – is the next best thing. YouTubers are global, and there are amazing chefs and home cooks everywhere who are eager to share their favorite tricks and recipes with the rest of the planet. Many of the people in this section are incredibly enthusiastic about sharing their culture, and frequently make Americanized versions of their historical favorites simply because they like it.
Learning about food from the people who know it best is 100x more fun than watching some white lady on TV talk about how “crazy” other cultures are. Go straight to the source! And if you’re looking to have the source brought to you, skip ahead to Food Culture & Travel Shows!
It’s a global tragedy that Korean-born Maangchi doesn’t appear in any of her video thumbnails because she is cuter than the cutest little cute that ever was. Don’t get me wrong, though, she can mess with the best. Brandishing a chef’s knife in the intro to all of her videos, Maangchi now lives in NYC, NY and shares entertaining, adorable, and informative recipes for her favorite Korean dishes.
She’s an incredibly proficient cook who has introduced me to a whole country’s worth of dishes. A Korean food channel wouldn’t be complete without kimchi, and Maangchi is more than proficient. She’s got nearly 20 versions of kimchi on her channel, from traditional to “emergency,” and that’s just scratching the surface. The chicken wings you see above (Dakgangjeong: ???) are the most perfect, delicious, crunchy wings I’ve ever made in my life.
Here are some of Maangchi’s best recipes:
- Traditional Kimchi Recipe (Tongbaechu-kimchi)
- How to Make Gimbap (Kimbap)
- How to Grow Soybean Sprouts (Kongnamul)
- Omurice (Omelette Rice)
- Japchae (Glass Noodles Stir-fried with Vegetables)
Cooking with Dog offers an experience like no other. It only takes one video to get you hooked on this small dog, Francis, and his human cook, Chef. You’ll fall in love with this duo while they make everything from classic Japanese dishes to current American favorites. There’s something extremely calming and sweet about Cooking with Dog.
This is one of the longest-standing food channels on YouTube, now in its 10th year. It was one of the first YouTube cooking channels I ever saw, and it definitely paved the way for future weird cooking shows.
Here are some of the best Cooking With Dog playlists:
- Japanese Dessert Recipes
- Winter Hot Pot Recipes
- Cooking With Dog (with Spanish Subtitles)
- Summer Noodle Recipes
Don’t worry, this cute Korean gal says her name in the beginning of each episode, and by the third one, you’re saying it right along with her. Seonkyeong Longest hosts a show called “Asian at Home,” and is determined to show the world (read: white people) that Asian food can be better than take-out when made right at home.
These days, Seonkyeong lives in California with her husband and shares recipes, food challenges and travel guides on her channel. If you don’t have a crush on her after the first video, you’re resilient because she is stunningly beautiful and her personality and sense of humor are awesome.
Here are some of Seonkyeong Longest’s best recipes:
If you didn’t have an Italian uncle growing up, now is your chance. As an Irish-Welsh-French Canadian descendent, I definitely didn’t, so Gennaro Contaldo is a welcome addition to my YouTube family. He is a seasoned chef that works with Jamie Oliver on FoodTube, but also used to have a show on BBC with another Italian chef called Two Greedy Italians. He’s a totally charming guy with excellent Italian recipes that you can make in your kitchen, wherever that is.
Here are some of Gennaro Contaldo’s best recipes:
Those of you who binge-watched the Great British Bake-Off are probably vibrating with excitement – yes, this is the Chetna Makan, finalist on TGBBO in 2014. You might also be surprised to find out that Chetna was a fashion designer in Mumbai before moving to the UK, where she wrote her lovely cookbook, The Cardamom Trail! Is she your idol yet? If not, just cruise through a few of her videos and you’ll be hooked and hungry.
Many of her recipes are for traditional Indian dishes, but she also adds her own spin to classic recipes from all over the world. She’s a beautiful, inspiring cook with a unique perspective on food.
Here are some of the best Food with Chetna videos:
- Delicious Onion Chutney
- Mum’s Aloo Paratha
- Crispy Spinach Pakora
- Tamarind & Date Chutney
- Perfect Chapati
The first cute male chef I ever took notice of was actually Jamie Oliver back in the early 2000s. These days, though, Jamie is married off and has a billion kids, so I’ve moved on to more sumptuous culinarians like the Greek-born Akis Petretzikis. He’s got a ton of energy, which may be why he uploads several times per week, and every time, the quality is off the charts.
Many of Akis’ recipes are Mediterranean, but like Chetna, Akis also shares his tips and techniques for classic recipes like cakes, ice cream bases, and even onion rings. If you can get past how distractingly handsome he is, you’ll learn a ton about cooking at home!
Here are some of Akis’ Kitchen’s best playlists:
- Greek Recipes
- Brunch Recipes
- Just Hands (Quick, no-narration videos with… just hands. Where’s the fun in that?)
- Akis’ Kitchen Tips
If you’re way into international food, but want to see the real thing instead of just cooking a duplicate, this category is for you. From street food to straight-up culinary debauchery, YouTube has every angle of food culture represented, and as time goes on, the quality goes up. This is better than any cable travel channel I’ve ever watched, and it’s 100% free!
As a subsidiary of VICE, Munchies basically has carte blanche to do… whatever, as long as it has to do with food. As predicted, they don’t squander that opportunity, and what results is a rich, interesting, cultural look at food through a thousand different lenses. VICE is a people-focused media organization, so with Munchies, you’re seeing food through the eyes of everyone from chart-topping rappers to your local pizza guy.
Follow chefs on their raucous and drunken nights out, see inside the ever-expanding world of cannabis-infused cuisine, follow Action Bronson or Matty Matheson around while they swear heavily about how good food is, or just watch some seriously talented people make seriously delicious food. Munchies is what you throw on the TV when you’re at a party, there’s so much content and it’s all awesome. It’s possibly the coolest food channel on the planet.
Here are some of the best Munchies series:
- Chefs Night Out
- Bong Appetit
- How To with Matty Matheson
- Fuck, That’s Delicious with Action Bronson
- The Fat Prince with Andy Milonaki
Seeing a channel with a name like “Best Ever Food Review Show” might make you skeptical, but in this case… it’s pretty much spot on. Sonny Side is a Minnesota-born videographer who found himself leaving his American life to pursue his ultimate mission: to make the best food review show. He now lives in Vietnam after a stint in South Korea and uses his incredible charisma to charm locals into giving him the best tips on how to find and prepare Asian classics.
Frequently, Sonny will work with local food tour companies, welcoming his guides to co-host the show. The way he interacts with the people he encounters highlights how awesome the locals are, and will have you searching for flights. On top of that, the quality of his weekly videos is astounding, especially considering he has no on-screen experience and uses his own money, plus a burgeoning Patreon community, to fund his videos. Upon first view, I figured he was an ex-travel show host that found his place on YouTube. Turns out, he’s just a freaking natural and I have a feeling that YouTube is just the beginning for Sonny Side & the Best Ever Food Review Show.
Here are some of Best Ever Food Review Show’s best videos:
- Where to Eat in Hoi An, Vietnam
- Filipino Street Food Tour in Quiapo Market, Manila
- Best Breakfast in Saigon
- Stupid Good Banh Cuon & the Ultimate Sausage Party
- Vietnamese Pizza (Banh Trang Nuong) Street Food
If you don’t know who Mario Batali is by now, the rock you’ve been living under must be huge. The notorious-orange-Croc-wearing Italian ginger is one of the best chefs on the planet. His YouTube channel is mostly recipes, but there are a fair number of collaboration videos featuring other food experts.
Mario is all over YouTube honestly, he shows up in Munchies videos frequently, and has a particular affinity for Action Bronson. Who knows what that means. But no one knows Italian food (or food in general) quite like Mario Batali and his enthusiasm is contagious.
Here are some of Mario Batali’s best recipes:
- Spicy Salty Dog: Grapefruit & Chipotle Cocktail
- Pandoro French Toast with Pistachios
- How to Soak Dried Beans
- How to Make Caramelized Onions
- How to Break Down a Chicken
Here we have Binging with Babish, quite possibly my current favorite YouTube channel. Andrew Rea pays closer attention than most to pop culture’s favorite shows and replicates any food that was part of a plotline, or even just the script. The video above covers Seinfeld’s infamous chocolate & cinnamon babkas, Elaine’s muffin tops, and the Soup Nazi’s wild mushroom soup. No corners are cut with these recipes, either, and if it’s something outlandish – like Homer Simpson’s Moon Waffles: caramel- and liquid smoke-infused waffle wrapped around a stick of butter – Andrew will do his best to recreate the recipe in a real, edible way.
Here are some of the best Binging with Babish episodes:
- The Foods of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
- Parks & Recreation Burger Cookoff
- Master of None Carbonara
- Szechuan Sauce from Rick & Morty
- Pollo a la Plancha from Moonlight
I know I just said that Binging with Babish was my current favorite channel, but First We Feast has what might be my all-time favorite YouTube show: Hot Ones. The concept is simple, host Sean Evans has celebrity and noteworthy guests on to chat about their projects and life, blah blah blah. Normal stuff. The kicker is… together, Sean and the guest eat progressively spicier hot wings until they’re basically drinking the hottest hot sauce on the planet. Yes, to ghost peppers, yes to bhut jolokia, yes to all of it. It opens up the interview to an hilarious and honest point of brilliance.
Sean Evans may very well be the best interviewer of our generation. His ability to research his guests and ask them meaningful questions that leave them feeling respected and enthused is a skill that goes unmatched. Guests like Cara Delevingne, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Kevin Hart, and Steve-O are all subjected to deep, thoughtful questions while their mouths and lips are aflame. It sounds ridiculous, but it results in one of the best, most insightful and entertaining interview shows around.
The most badass person I’ve seen on the show (and I’ve seen all four seasons of episodes) has been Rachel Ray. This chick brought a spoon with her to take full spoonfuls of the some of the hottest sauces known to man. Props, Rachel!
Here are some of the best episodes of Hot Ones by First We Feast:
If you are a street food fanatic, Food Ranger is about to be your new BFF. Trevor James is a hungry fanatic, and he’s currently living abroad in Shengdu, China, eating all kinds of delicious stuff. Using China as his hub, he’s been able to give us a rich look at the street food of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, several parts of China, and even Turkey!
Trevor has a major edge on other white-guy travel hosts because he is nearly fluent in Mandarin (Chinese). He can quickly and easily ask street food vendors and locals about their favorite foods, the techniques, and the most important resource a traveling food host could have: recommendations. You’ll want to be sure you have a snack before watching, because this will definitely make you hungry.
Here are some of The Food Ranger’s best playlists:
We’ve gotten really, really serious about food in this list, so at the end, we’re lightening it up. The people behind these channels love food as much as everyone else on this list, but pair it with their incredible wits to create engaging, hilarious, and clever food videos. You might learn something, but that’s not really the point. Prepare to be entertained!
Hey, they said it, not us! But it’s true, isn’t it? Either way, this channel will have you in stitches. The dry sense of humor and clever editing make You Suck at Cooking into a surreal, well, suck-fest. Each video begins with an all too catchy theme song followed by a glimpse of hope that you might actually learn something from this cooking tutorial. Those chances are dashed around a minute or so when you realize you’re being punked, made fun of, and in the end, you actually did learn something – but all you can do is laugh.
Oh, and occasionally the video will be interrupted by a drama series starring eggs. That’s just what happens on this channel.
Here are some of the best You Suck at Cooking episodes:
Legendary. This channel is truly, completely legendary. In the future, children will study Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time for its cinematic genius. I can’t express how much I love these Swedish dudes (some of whom I’m convinced are actually chefs). They bring a tension that only northern Europeans who look like they’re going to kick your ass while making complex dishes like Superior Smorgascake. Luckily, there are corresponding blooper videos for nearly every episode.
The quality of this low-to-no budget channel is incredible. From the expert filming to the clever editing – ROSMT has layers. Aside from the fact that they’re making actual recipes, there are sub-plots, villains, and tyrannical violence to keep you entertained. (Also, if mayonnaise squidges you out – beware of the “pre-dinner snack” portion of… every episode. ‘s good for you. )
The only language spoken on this channel is “Swenglish:” an oddly-understandable mash-up of Swedish and English. It’s been awhile since a new episode has been uploaded, but the back catalog stands the test of time. This is the kind of show that you beat yourself up about because you didn’t think of it first, and it’s a really, really good idea. Add this channel to the top of your Must Watch list!
Here are some of the best Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time videos:
- Barbaric Brutal Breakfast
- Swedish Sausage Stroganov Suicide
- Satanic Salad
- Painful Patriotic Pancakes
- Special Episode & Cookie Cataclysm
Whoa – is this the most popular YouTuber on this list? Rosanna Pansino is an unassuming cutie, but she packs nearly a 9 million follower punch. It’s all due to her brilliant show, Nerdy Nummies. She, much like Yolanda from How to Cake It, can make pop culture-inspired foods based off of pretty much anything. She also runs with a pretty elite YouTuber crowd, meaning her occasional guests pack a big punch. Perhaps you’ve heard of Cookie Monster?
Here are some of Rosanna Pansino’s best videos:
- Breaking Bad Glass Candy
- My Little Pony Cupcakes
- Minecraft Rice Krispy Treats
- Diablo 3 Skittle Vodka Potions
Here we have the Buzzfeed of the YouTube world. (Okay, Buzzfeed is actually very present on YouTube but go with me, here.) The vast majority of their five years worth of content are videos where people eat outlandish things. Don’t overthink it, you know? Sure, this kind of looks like they’re phoning it in when you compare to the other channels on this list, but for mindless entertainment that will always at least make you smirk, Tasted is – or was – perfect. Yes, 10 months ago, their parent company pulled the plug on their show and they were left eating bags of Lay’s flavored chips in their last video ever. Sad. But at least we have the archives!
Here are some of the best Tasted episodes:
- Maple Bacon Pop Tarts
- Chocolate Hummus
- JIF Hazelnut Cheesecake Spread
- Cow Tongue & Salami Flavored Giant Cheetos
- Durian Coffee
Oh, Hannah Hart. I’ve been watching her since I randomly stumbled across her first ever My Drunk Kitchen. She made a grilled cheese sandwich while wasted as an attempt to cheer up a friend. Fast forward six years and she’s got a Food Network show, two superstar best friends, and a loyal following of fans that love her adorable sense of humor and even more adorable lisp.
In addition to the regular My Drunk Kitchen series, Hannah also has tons of interviews, collaborations, and specials featuring Hannah in the wild. She’s utterly charming and was clearly born to give people wicked insight while making a total fool of herself. She’s sort of perfect.
Here are some of the best My Drunk Kitchen episodes:
- Brownies (feat. Mary-Louise Parker)
- Banana Bread (feat. Grace Helbig)
- Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf
- Dick-Taters (feat. Tyler Oakley)
- Brrrrito (feat. Lilly Singh)
Last but most certainly not least, the one alcohol-specific list inclusion. You Deserve a Drink, or Y-DAD, is hosted by Hannah Hart bestie-but-not-related Mamrie Hart. Much like Sean Evans, Mamrie has all the makings of a fantastic interviewer, and her glorious puns are only the tip of the iceberg. Her original drink recipes are inspired by a Hollywood actors or nonsense pop culture icons who she thinks deserve a damn drink.
In addition to being a mixologist, Mamrie also had her fair share of wins as a comedian – specifically on the now historical @Midnight. She’s a comedian at heart, and it’s ironic that some of her best work is executed through ridiculous puns and dad jokes, but I’ll take it. I’ll take whatever I can get of Mamrie, and now people are catching on to her brilliance, exciting new collaborations and partnerships are appearing on her channel.
Here are some of the best You Deserve a Drink episodes:
- Sandra Bullock’s Sandy Brandy
- Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss EverGREEN
- Elizabeth Banks’ Shegroni
- Chris Pratt’s Cool Hand Cuke
- Amy Poehler’s Parks & Wrecked
That’s it! That’s my master list of the best food channels on YouTube! If I’m missing one of your favorites, leave it in the comments and maybe it will get added to the list!